Archive for: December 2014

In Loving Memory of David J. Millard

David J. Millard, age 76, passed away at home on December 30, 2014 after a lengthy illness.
He was born in Pittsburg, Kansas,, the son of Frances Katherine (Wentz) and Hubert Andrew Millard. He attended CU Boulder and Denver, where he studied electrical engineering. David worked as an experimental operator at Rocky Flats for 35 1/2 years until his retirement. He was an avid outdoorsman and liked to hunt and fish. He enjoyed riding motorcycles and was a ham operator.  David had a passion for making model airplanes. He was a lifetime member  of a model airplane group in Boulder, CO.
On May 12, 2012, he was united in marriage to Sherrill Murnane at the Lord’s Chapel in Segundo, Co.
Preceding him in death are parents, Frances and Hubert Millard and first wife Agnes Madeline Davidek Millard, who passed away on June 19, 2010.
Left to cherish his memory is wife Sherrill Millard, home address, sons, Michael (Angela) Millard, Cokedale, CO, John (Vicky) Millard, Pueblo West, CO, Terry Millard, Firestone, CO, two grandchildren Eric and Sara, the extended Murnane family, brother Jack (Sherry) Millard, Trinidad, sister Elaine (Joe)Sewell, Elk Grove, CA, nieces, nephews and friends.
Memorial Services will be held Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 2PM at the Lord’s Chapel in Segundo, CO.
Private inurnment to be held at a later date.
Arrangements made under the direction of the Comi Funeral Home.

In Memory of Linda S. Gonzales

Linda S. Gonzales went to be with the Lord on Christmas day December 25, 2014. She was born in Raton, New Mexico on October 9, 1963 to Mary Jean Sisneros Camargo and Leo Gonzales. 

Linda was preceded in death by her mother Mary Jean Sisneros Camargo, grandmother Margaret Padilla Sisneros Trujillo, grandfather Jose Paul Sisneros, brother Manuel Camargo, Jr., sister Angela Jean Camargo, Uncle Louis Padilla and wife Elinora Padilla, aunt Isabel Sisneros and husband Leverato Sisneros, Uncle Bob Sisneros, Sr., cousins Bob Sisneros, Jr., Eddie Sisneros and Danny Sisneros. 

She is survived by Debbie Vigil, daughter Bobbie Jean Marquez and husband Richard, three grandchildren Margarita Lynn and Illah May Montoya and Akilina Dawn Marquez all of Raton, NM. Step-father Manuel Camargo, Sr., two uncles Ramon Sisneros and wife Julie and Alex Sisneros and wife Isabel all of Albuquerque, NM, aunt Lorraine Sisneros of Raton, NM a close cousin Mark Sisneros and wife Cortney of Colorado Springs, CO, sister Annette Gonzales and husband Frank of Pueblo, CO, brother Leo Gonzales of Denver, CO and numerous cousins and friends also survive. 

Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary by Larry Guara will take place Saturday January 3rd at 9:30 a.m. at St. Patrick-St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Mass of the Resurrection will be held at 10:00 a.m. with Father John Trambley as the celebrant. Rite of committal and interment will follow at Fairmont Cemetery. Funeral arrangements for Linda S. Gonzales are under the direction of the Alderette-Pomeroy Funeral Home of Raton.

In Loving Memory of Jesse Segura

Jesse Segura, age 46, died Sunday, December 28, 2014, in Clayton, New Mexico. 

Memorial Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, January 2, 2015 at the First United Methodist Church in Clayton, New Mexico with Terrell Jones, pastor of the Trinity Fellowship Church in Clayton officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Hass Funeral Directors of Clayton. 

Jesse Segura was born on February 21, 1968 in Clayton, New Mexico to Joe Segura and Cruzita (Lopez) Segura. He attended school in Clayton and graduated from Clayton High School in 1986. Jesse married Diana (Knotts) Segura on February 26, 1994 in Manitou Springs, Colorado. He worked as a general contractor in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and California. He especially loved working and living in California. Jesse loved his family and always put them before everything else. He loved to design, create and build and could build anything. Jesse was preceded in death by 4 cousins; Stanley, Herman, Art and Gus, Maternal Grandparents; Rev. Herman G. Lopez and Angelita Lopez, mother-in-law; Deanne Knotts and brother-in-law; David Knotts. 


WIFE: Diana Segura of Clayton, New Mexico. 

DAUGHTER: Lauren Segura of Clayton, New Mexico. 

SON: Lucas Segura of Clayton, New Mexico. 

PARENTS: Joe and Cruzita Segura of Clayton, New Mexico. 

5 SISTERS: Elizabeth Ortiz and her husband Juan of Evans, Colorado, Martha Talley and her husband Robert of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Susie Hughes and her husband Will of Purdy, Missouri, Ruth Ellenburg and her husband Woodrow of Alamogordo, New Mexico and Pauline Paterson and her husband Chris of Las Cruces, New Mexico. 

2 BROTHERS: David Segura and his wife Rhonda of Castle Rock, Colorado and Daniel Segura of Clayton, New Mexico. 

FATHER-IN-LAW: Ralph L. Knotts, Sr. of Clayton, New Mexico. 

2 SISTERS-IN-LAW: Debbie Rossen and her husband Shawn and Sharon Hass and her husband Michael all of Clayton, New Mexico. 

1 BROTHER-IN-LAW: Ralph L. Knotts Jr. of Amarillo, Texas. 

And numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. 

MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up at the Farmers and Stockman’s Bank in Clayton.

Colfax County Officials Sworn In

Colfax County officials were sworn in Monday afternoon in the Colfax County building by District Judge John Paternoster. 

Photos by Billy Donati

Colfax County Assessor Linda Gallegos was sworn in by District Judge John Paternoster Monday afternoon

Colfax County Assessor Linda Gallegos was sworn in by District Judge John Paternoster Monday afternoon


New Colfax County Commissioner Roy Fernandez took the oath of office from District Judge John Paternoster

New Colfax County Commissioner Roy Fernandez took the oath of office from District Judge John Paternoster


Colfax county Commissioner Bill Sauble takes the oath of office Monday afternoon from District Judge John Paternoster

Colfax county Commissioner Bill Sauble takes the oath of office Monday afternoon from District Judge John Paternoster


Probate Judge Roy Ackerman is sworn in Monday afternoon by district Judge John Paternoster

Probate Judge Roy Ackerman is sworn in Monday afternoon by district Judge John Paternoster

Connie Sinclair, Colfax County Sheriff Rick Sinclair and District Judge John Paternoster after the swearing in ceremony at the Colfax County Building.

Connie Sinclair, Colfax County Sheriff Rick Sinclair and District Judge John Paternoster after the swearing in ceremony at the Colfax County Building.

In Loving Memory of Judy Cusimano

Judy Cusimano. age 83, passed away after a lengthy illness at Parkview Medical Center, in  Pueblo, Co. on December 25, 2014.

Memorial Services will be held Friday, January 2, 2015 at 2PM at the Comi Chapel. Private inurnment at a later date.

People wishing to do so may make contributions to the charity of their choice. Family can be contacted at the home address.

Arrangements made under the direction of the Comi Funeral Home.

In Loving Memory of Vanessa L. Najera

Vanessa L. Najera, age 29, of Raton, NM. Passed away Thursday December 18, 2014 in Santa Fe, NM. She was born November 29, 1985 in Raton, NM, the daughter of Thomas and Bernice Archuleta-Bernal. 

She is preceded in death by her Father, daughter Deseree, mother-in-law Maria Parra, Paternal grand parents Elosi and Jose Bernal and father-in-law Jesus Najure Sr. 

Vanessa is survived by her husband Jesus Najera Jr. of the home, daughter DeAnna Najera of the home, son Ulyss Espanoza of Raton, mother Bernice Sisneros of Raton, sister Veronica Bernal and companion Zack Lucero of Raton and numerous nieces, and nephews. 

Memorial services will be Saturday December 27, 2014 at 1:00 P.M. at the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home in Raton. Inurnment will follow at the Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Raton. 

Arrangements and celebration of love for Vanessa L. Najera are under the direction of the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home of Raton.

In Loving Memory of Lucy L. Martinez

Lucy L. Martinez age 79, of Cimarron, NM, passed away Thursday December 18, 2014 in Cimarron.

She was born November 18, 1935 in Cimarron the daughter of Simon and Manuelita Avila-Garcia. She had worked for many years as a cashier and her grandchildren were her life. 

She is survived by her daughter Anita LeDoux and spouse Gina Sanchez of Cimarron, NM, sons Anthony L. Martinez and wife Margie of Cimarron, NM, Joseph P. Martinez of Cimarron, NM, and James Martinez and wife JoAnne of Albuquerque, NM. Nine grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren. 

She is preceded in death by her parents, and three brothers Joe F. Garcia, Pete L. Garcia and Simon A. Garcia. 

Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary will be Saturday December 27, 2014 at 9:30 A.M. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cimarron, NM. Mass of the Resurrection will follow at 10:00 A.M. with Father Emanuel Izuka as the celebrant Rite of committal will be in the Cimarron Cemetery.

Arrangements for Lucy L. Martines are under the direction of the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home of Raton. 

In Loving Memory of Rachael Martinez

Rachael Martinez, age 75 and formerly of Raton, passed away December 14, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.

Rachael was born in Raton on July 25, 1935. She was preceded in death by her husband Louis Martinez, mother Cora Salazar Gonzales, brother Luke J. Salazar, sisters Frances Aguirre Salazar and Berdina Burgess Salazar.

She is survived by her sons Robert Martinez and Pat Martinez, her daughters Debbie Martinez and Angela Martinez all of Seattle, Washington, Father Christobal Gonzales, brothers Nick Salazar (Loretta), Johnny Salazar (Sandra), Amos Salazar, Pat gonzales, Jimmy Gonzales (Bobbie) all of Raton, David Salazar of Albuquerque, sisters Teresa Chaney of Raton and Catherine Monarco of Alamosa, Colorado. Numerous nephews, nieces and grandchildren also survive.

Cremation has taken place for Rachael Martinez. A funeral mass will be scheduled at a later date.

Raton’s Unique Christmas Tradition

Raton’s Unique Christmas Tradition

By Pat Veltri

As a lifelong resident of Raton, Frank Ferri values the city’s time-honored Christmas traditions. One tradition in particular, from the recent past, holds special meaning for him — the building of the town’s Christmas tree using live evergreen branches and a utility pole, and placing it in the median between Park and Clark Avenues. The tradition began for him at an early age and extended into his adult years when he actually had a hand in making the tree “come to life”.
RPS full Xmas tree

For decades the attention-grabbing “pole” tree dazzled generations of citizens and visitors alike. As a small child Ferri was awed by the sheer size of it. “When I was a kid, I can remember going by in the car and you couldn’t see the top of it until you got far away from it,” he says.

Ferri left Raton for a few years while serving a stint in the Navy. After returning to his hometown, he began his work with the Raton Public Service Company, the entity charged with the task of assembling and maintaining the tree, in addition to providing the electrical power for the thousands of lights adorning it. Ferri worked for RPS from 1972 until 2006 and held a myriad of jobs, including boiler operator, lead welder, and eventually assistant plant superintendent, but whenever the holidays rolled around, he was personally involved in the assembling of the tree.

Initially, back in 1935, when RPS began decorating the town for Christmas, live trees were used and over the years were situated in several different places. For example, in 1938, a 71-foot tree was placed on top of Goat Hill.

In 1947, in order to save time and money, RPS experimented with using a flag pole with several hundred holes strategically placed along its length. Branches were gathered and placed in the holes to form the tree. Archives of the local newspaper, The Raton Daily Range, reported that the RPS somehow came into possession of the pole from CampTrinidad, a World War II German prisoner of war camp, located near Trinidad, Colorado. Ferri says the flag pole was 70 or 80 feet long, and “eventually got cut down because it was too tall.”  How the pole was delivered to Raton remains a mystery, but Ferri speculates that due to its size, it was probably brought by rail.

In time, after many years of use, the flag pole deteriorated and was replaced with a smaller utility pole. The Christmas pole tree tradition began to fade away in 1994 when city officials decided to move the tree from the median to RipleyPark because of safety concerns. In 2004, the “pole” tree was replaced with a live tree donated by Mary Lee Gabriele.

RPS Xmas tree Close-upTraditionally, the tree, the lights and the other greens strung along the streets and avenues in downtown Raton begin to go up about a week before Thanksgiving, and are usually finished in time for the official lighting of the tree the day after Thanksgiving. Ferri remembers, “With the experienced crew that we had, we could build the tree and get all the greens up, wrapped, and put up in a week’s time. We had a good crew. Everybody had a job and it went pretty fast.”

Ferri recalls that all of the evergreen branches used were gathered on Kaiser Steel property, with permission from company officials. “Most of the branches were pine,” he says, “but I’m sure there was some spruce and there could have been a little bit of cedar. We tried to keep it uniform with the same kind of greens.”

The combination of a skilled and competent crew, plus a well-established routine, allowed the tree to be easily assembled in a timely manner. The building of the tree started in front of the RPS warehouse. Ferri describes the process: “The guys had it hung with their boom trucks* and they would build their tree. They would get probably maybe half, maybe three quarters done, get it downtown and set it up with their boom trucks.” The pole was placed in a permanent holder, a six foot deep steel pipe casing located in the Second Street median between Park and Clark Avenues. He continues, “We had four or five linemen climbing up in the tree, and the rest of us would be on the ground handing limbs to them, measuring, trying to make it look uniform. They had a big ring up there that they would hook the stringers* on; it went all around the tree. The last thing they did was to put the star on top.”  In time, the pole was cut down to about half its size which made it easier to work on, and the older model winch trucks were replaced with new bucket trucks that would reach all the way to the top of the tree, eliminating the need for the linemen to do any climbing to work on the top end of it. 

RPS Xmas tree branches

The RPS crew carefully considered the well-being and protection of the public while the tree was being put together. Ferri says, “We normally had to get the police to come and block off the streets because we were out in traffic. We had our trucks out there and our cones, but some people would come whizzing by just a little too close. We finally got the city to arrange to put a cop on each end and divert the traffic around us until we got done, just for safety’s sake. We had to lay that tree across both sides of the street and then we had to stand it up; it was a little bit dangerous, but no one got hurt that I can recall. We were very careful because we didn’t want to hurt anybody in the public.”
RPS Xmas tree 1/2 branches

Traditions are fun. They make people smile. They create good memories. A memory that makes Ferri smile is his recollection of the earliest times he was involved in building the tree, when the pole was still close to full length and RPS was using a 1964 International boom truck. “The pole stuck way out behind that truck and we had our boom extended as far as it would go.  We came out to the street by the front of the power plant and it (the pole) was heavy; of course we had the tree half way built. The truck had a big weight on it, but we still had to put a couple of guys on the truck bumper of that old truck to keep the wheels down so we could steer it. We felt kind of silly coming up the street but we always made it. It was a little bit scary but it was kind of fun. Everybody knew what was going to happen so we climbed on the front of it, and kept it from bouncing too much so we could get up Second Street.” 

RPS's 1964 International boom truck (November 21, 1988)

RPS’s 1964 International boom truck (November 21, 1988)

Ferri says that once the tree was up “it seemed to magically bring the Christmas spirit to life in Raton”.  “What a magnificent sight, especially for the little ones,” he reminisces. “I used to tell everybody that only the good Lord and the RPS line crew could build such a perfect Christmas tree.”

RPS retired employee, Frank Ferri

RPS retired employee, Frank Ferri

For several decades, while Raton was growing and changing, the tradition of building the Christmas tree offered consistency and gave people something to look forward to. In 1994 the long-lasting tradition was broken when the tree was moved from its usual position to RipleyPark because of traffic safety issues. The Christmas tree pole was retired in 2004, and a live tree was planted in the park to be used as Raton’s permanent Christmas tree. Ferri says, “When it got moved into the park, I was kind of disappointed because I thought it was really cool downtown. If you came into Raton from either the north or the south, as tall as that tree was, it caught your eye.  This beautiful, gigantic Christmas tree with a star on top and stringers of blinking lights definitely got everybody’s attention. I hated to see it being moved because traditionally that’s just where it was. It just seems like that’s where it ought to be.”

*Boom Truck: A boom truck is a utility vehicle with an extendable arm mounted to a bed or roof.
*Stringers: Strings of lights

In Loving Memory of Adelia M. Herrera

Adelia M. Herrera, age 91, died Saturday, December 20, 2014, in Clayton, New Mexico. 

The family will receive friends at Hass Funeral Home on Friday, December 26th from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Rosary will be recited at 7:00 P.M. on Friday, December 26th by Deacon P. Louis Montoya and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on Saturday, December 27th at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Clayton with Fr. Joel Bugas as Celebrant. Burial will follow in the Texline Cemetery in Texline, Texas by Hass Funeral Directors of Clayton. The family will be gathering at 23 Monroe Street in Clayton on the 26th and 27th. 

Adelia Maynes Herrera was born on a ranch near Roy, New Mexico to Severino Maynes and Fedilia (Romero) Maynes and attended school at Yates, New Mexico. She married Jose “Joe” Emilio Herrera on March 6, 1944 and he preceded her in death on Feb. 22, 1985. She lived in Texline for 14 years and had been a resident of Clayton since 1976. Adelia worked for the Clayton Senior Citizens Center from 1985 to 2006. She was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic church in Clayton. In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by 1 son, Freddy Herrera, 2 Step-Sons, Pete Herrera and Gilbert Herrera, 1 sister-in-law, Eva Romero, 4 brothers, Adolph Maynes, Jim Maynes, Gene Romero and Filberto Maynes, a sister, Eloise Ortiz, a granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Herrera and a sister in law Cecilia Maynes. 


3 SONS: Tony Herrera and his wife Gail of Clayton, New Mexico, Chris Herrera and his wife Vicky of Texline, Texas and Orlando Herrera and his wife Vangie of Goodwell, Oklahoma. 

5 DAUGHTERS: Lucy Howell and her husband Steve of Monroe, Oregon, Mary Jane Ray and her husband Charles of Dumas, Texas, Lena Muse and her husband Joe of Sulphur, Oklahoma, Gloria Evans and her husband Robert of Hugoton, Kansas and Kristi Aguilera and her husband Fabian of Amarillo, Texas. 

1 STEP-DAUGHTER: Eva Herrera of Abuquerque, New Mexico. 

1 DAUGHTER-IN-LAW: Angela Herrera of Austin, Texas. 

3 SISTERS-IN-LAW: Esmeralda Maynes, Esperanza Maynes and Beatrice Maynes all of Clayton, New Mexico. 

26 Grandchildren, 38 Great-Grandchildren and 2 Great-Great-Grandchildren. 

And by a very special friend, Terry Martin of Clayton, New Mexico. 

MEMORIALS: The family asks that memorials may be made in Adelia’s memory to Union County General Hospital, 300 Wilson St. Clayton, New Mexico 88415.